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Putting a zip in a cushion.

Over the Christmas festivities, I had a cushion explode on me. Well, the insides anyway and I didn't notice until I went to remove the cover for washing and found myself in a cloud of loose feathers. We really must stop those family pillow fights!

So I went to John Lewis who I normally love, to buy a replacement. I couldn't really find anything suitable and they were all around £50-£60.  I have happily paid that for a cushion in the past, but something just nagged and said Brexit - you'll need your pennies.

So I bought a lovely firm feather cushion pad for £7.50 and a fabric remnant for £7.00 plus a plastic zip for £1. A real saving.  You can of course go without a zip and do an envelope fold, but in the spirit of doing "a proper job" I decided to give a zip a go.

Easy Peasy Zip Putting-In
Again it looks complex but it really isn't. There's loads of videos on youtube showing the process too.

I'll assume that you have your cushion pieces (a front and a back) cut out to the right size to allow for hems and cushion pad plumpness. The zip in this cushion is going at the bottom.

Lay your 2 pieces of cloth right sides together in front of you.

Lay the zip on your fabric near the end and facing up, and use a pencil to pop in a mark where the zip top and bottom are.

It would be the icing-on-the-cake to centre this but isn't essential.

These marks will be where you sew up to and then across to catch in the plastic zip. In the photo, I've gone just inside the metal bit to make sure I don't sew over that.  If you're using a metal toothed zip, then take care when sewing - needles and metal don't go!

So you now have 2 marks on the cloth to show the beginning and end of your zip.  I also find it really useful to get out a ruler and mark a pencil line for my stitching. The line you can just see is 1" from the edge of my material and goes the whole length of the fabric.

The next step is really clever!!

You're going to join the 2 pieces of fabric by sewing along the line you've just marked. Start off by sewing a small stitch and secure at the end. Sew until you reach your first mark (one of the zip ends) and do a little stitch backwards and again forwards to secure. Do not remove the fabric or cut the thread, but leave your needle down in the fabric. Turn the dial on your stitch length to about 6, and continue to sew until you reach the second mark, and again, leave your needle in the down position.

Alter the stitch size back to the smaller one you started with and take a stitch forward, one back, and another forward to secure. Sew to the end of the line, and secure at that end too.

Photo showing the small stitches, going into larger ones at the markers.

Press the seam open.

Pin the zip into place between your 2 pencil marks. Make sure the teeth of the zip stay along the centre stitched line.

You can sew with the pins in, but you get a better finish by basting the zip into place.

Basting the zip into position.

Turn the fabric over and stitch the zip in place from the right side. Use a zipper foot to get close to the teeth, and sew down one side, across the zip end, up the other side, and finish off by sewing across the top end.

Because you've sewn the length of the cushion before this stage, everything stays beautifully smooth.

Remove the basting.

Turn over, and use a seam ripper or unpick those large stitches you made when you joined the 2 pieces of fabrc together.  And you're done.

(Well, ok, you do need to quickly whizz round the other seams on your sewing machine which takes all of 2 minutes!)

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